Ciesco Market Intelligence 9 April 2024

Ciesco Global M&A Update – Significant Signs of Recovery in Q1 2024

In Q1’24, M&A activity in Media & Marketing shows significant signs of recovery and hits record Q1 levels, with a 7% year-on-year increase

April 2024, London

  • Technology & Media sector activity is on an upward trajectory. Q1’24 deal volume of 528 deals completed is a 7% increase over Q1’23 (493).
  • As was the trend in 2023, digitally-led agencies continue to attract the most buyer interest, accounting for 44% of all deal volume in Q1’24 – this includes companies across Digital Media, Digital Agency, AdTech/ MarTech, CRM and Data & Analytics.
  • The disclosed value of M&A deals (including mega-deals) has decreased from $32.3bn to $28.3bn.
  • The USA, UK and Western European remain key markets, but notably UK has seen 44% increase in activity, whilst the US declined by 7%.
  • Corporate-led (strategic buyer) acquisitions continue to account for the majority of transactions with 69% recorded in Q1’24, as PE-backed deals account for a 31% – the lowest Q1 level they have held in the last 5 years.


528 transactions were announced in Q1’24 in the Media sector. This is a 7% increase in deal activity compared with the same period in 2023 and a 4% increase on the same period in 2022, representing positive indicators for the return of a healthy M&A market.

Ciesco Market Intelligence is tracking strong activity across the digitally-led subsectors, including Digital Media, Digital Agency, AdTech/MarTech, CRM and Data & Analytics. The Traditional Media subsector saw the highest increase in buyer interest at 236%, while the Agency Services sector – second highest -at 79%.

The two largest M&A markets remain the USA and the UK, accounting for 48% of total deal volume. They were followed by France, Japan, Germany, Canada and Australia, all of which combined represent 74% of total deal volume.

Continuing the 2023 trend, APAC’s deal activity is on an upward turn, completing 23 more transactions in Q1’24 than in Q1’23. In 2023, Japan’s activity more than doubled that of 2022, and this can be attributed to low interest rates, a weaker yen and a recovering stock market.


Download the Q1’24 M&A update

About Ciesco

Ciesco is a leading specialist M&A firm with a focus on the technology, media, healthcare and sustainability sectors. Headquartered in London and operating globally, Ciesco offers a unique combination at partnership level of senior industry practitioners and sector specialist investment bankers. This enables an extensive network of contacts and strong relationships that reach into organisations worldwide at C-suite sponsor levels. Ciesco is well regarded in the market for its specialist advice derived from the deep understanding of the sector, industry and buyer landscape insights, and execution expertise.